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CUSAT Implements Gender-Neutral Uniforms, Empowering Engineering Students

The Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) has made a significant announcement, granting engineering students the option to wear gender-neutral uniforms. This decision follows the university’s progressive move to provide menstrual leave to its female students. Responding to a long-standing demand from the students, the Vice-Chancellor has given them the freedom to choose their preferred attire from the existing uniform options. Previously, male students wore shirts and pants, while female students wore churidars. Under the new directive, regardless of their gender, students can now choose between the shirts-pants combo or churidar. This change will be implemented from June 1, 2023, as stated in a letter from the University joint registrar, Sobha S. The decision to adopt gender-neutral uniforms without altering the existing colors was made after a representation submitted by Namitha George, Chairperson of the SFI students’ union of CUSAT. The move is expected to benefit over 2,000 regular students studying various courses under the College of Engineering. Namitha George expressed, “There had been informal talks regarding the need for gender-neutral uniforms for some time among students. Our union formally submitted a representation pressing the demand recently.” The decision was reached through discussions involving faculty members and representatives from various student unions, ultimately arriving at a consensus. Namitha clarified that there would be no change in the current uniforms, but students would now have the option to choose their attire irrespective of their gender. Earlier this year, CUSAT also granted “menstruation benefit” to students, allowing additional condonation of attendance shortage for female students. As an autonomous university, CUSAT enrolls over 8,000 students, with a significant portion being female.


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